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WITandWISDOM(tm) - April 24, 2000
A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes. - Hugh Downs
Source: The Motivation Mailer, email@example.com via http://www.witandwisdom.org
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
"I have a dream my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character . . ." - Martin Luther King Jr.
Editors' Note: This story was penned in 1969.
A week after my son started first grade, he came home with the news that Roger, the only African-American in the class, was his playground partner. I swallowed and said, "That's nice. How long before someone else gets him for a partner?"
"Oh, I've got him for good," replied Bill.
In another week, I had news that Bill had asked if Roger could be his desk partner.
Unless you were born and reared in the Deep South, as I was, you cannot know what this means. I went for an appointment with the teacher, She met me with tired cynical eyes. "Well, I suppose you want a new desk partner for your child, too," she said. "Can you wait a few minutes? I have another mother coming in right now."
I looked up to see a woman my age. My heart raced as I realized she must be Roger's mother. She had a quiet dignity and much poise, but neither trait could cover the anxiety I heard in her questions: "How's Roger doing? I hope he is keeping up with the other children? If he isn't, just let me know."
She hesitated as she made herself ask, "Is he giving you any trouble of any kind? I mean, what with his having to change desks so much?"
I felt the terrible tension in her, for she knew the answer. But I was proud of that first-grade teacher for her gentle reply: "No, Roger is not giving me any trouble. I try to move all the children around the first few weeks until each has just the right partner."
I introduced myself and said that my son was to be Roger's new partner and I hoped they would like each other. Even then I knew it was only a surface wish, not a deep-felt one. But it helped her, I could see.
Twice Roger invited Bill to come home with him, but I found excuses. Then came the heartache that I will always suffer.
On my birthday Bill came home from school with a grimy piece of paper folded into a very small square. Unfolding it, I found three flowers and "Happy Birthday" crayoned on the paper - and a nickel.
"That's from Roger," said Bill. "It's his milk money. When I said today was your birthday, he made me bring it to you. He said you are his friend, 'cause you're the only mother who didn't make him get another desk partner."
By Mavis Burton Ferguson
Source: Chicken Soup for the Unsinkable Soul, by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Heather McNamara, Copyright (c) 1999 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, http://www.soupserver.com/ via http://www.witandwisdom.org
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
A BIG WASTE By Dave Barry, Copyright (c) The Miami Herald, August 7, 1998
Today's topic, in our popular "Practical Homeowner" series, is: Dealing With Common Plumbing Problems
Common problems can strike your plumbing at any time. For instance, I have here a Kansas City Star story that was sent in by alert reader Sam Fey, concerning an incident that occurred in a Jefferson County, Missouri, town called House Springs. This story, which I am not making up, states:
"A House Springs mobile home was damaged when a Civil War-type cannonball smashed through a window and two interior walls Thursday night before crashing into a toilet and lodging in a bathroom wall."
The story states that sheriff's deputies were investigating two possibilities: (1) that the cannonball was thrown through the window, either manually or via a "large slingshot device"; and (2) that the cannonball was "fired from a small cannon up to a mile away."
Fortunately, the bathroom was not occupied when the cannonball entered. But that fact, frankly, gives me little comfort. I think most Americans would agree with me that the greatest benefit of being a U.S. citizen, aside from having the freedom to change our long-distance company on a daily basis, is the sense of security we get from knowing that, while sitting on the commode, we are relatively safe from cannon fire. But now we see that security being eroded. We see an America with virtually no restrictions on the sale of cannons or large slingshot devices. We see an America sliding back into the "climate of fear" that gripped the nation during the Civil War, when the cannonball problem became so severe that ordinary citizens were afraid to use their own outhouses, which is why everybody in those old photographs looks so uncomfortable.
Source: Keith's Mostly Clean Humor, McHawListfirstname.lastname@example.org via http
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
Life is cheap, it's the accessories that kill you.
To err is human; to blame it on the other guy is even more human.
My boss complained that I don't listen to him - at least I think that's what he said.
Source: America's Joke, email@example.com
Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel in 1952.
No president was an only child.
President John Quincy Adams owned a pet alligator which he kept in the East Room of the White House.
When the Hoovers did not want to be overheard by White House guests, they spoke to each other in Chinese.
Source: Today's Useless Facts, Useless_Factsfirstname.lastname@example.org via http://www.witandwisdom.org